Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The million-dollar MRAP

Remember the Jeep of World War II? This is what it has evolved into: the MRAP, meaning 'Mine Resistant Ambush Protected' truck, and costing a million dollars a copy. It's meant to blow apart, as appears to be the case here, a feature which helps dissipate the shock of the blast.

But that's not the problem! The problem is that the MRAP was designed for operations in Iraq, which has lots of roads and mostly flat terrain. Afghanistan has neither, and the MRAP has a distressing tendency to bust an axle when traveling over rough terrain. So the million-dollar MRAPs are being retrofitted at a cost of $100,000 each. Read about it here. Also interesting are the comments. Is the MRAP cheap at the price, if it protects an American soldier from having his legs blown off? Or is it just a way of separating the soldier from the Afghan, until such time as the wheels blow off and the soldier becomes a sitting duck, as here? Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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